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6 Things I Don’t Understand About The Fat Acceptance Movement


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#1 Bone

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 12:28 AM

What follows is a piece that pretty effectively sums up my thoughts about "fat acceptance". What do you guys think? Here's the original article.

 

 

 

1. America is extremely accepting of fat.

I have not lived in many other countries in my life, but I have done it enough to know that America is exceptional in its general permissiveness about obesity and ill health. Though there may be negative stereotypes, staring, bullying, or crude comments, the environment we live in is one that is incredibly tolerant of unhealthy lifestyles. There are enormous portions, extreme levels of convenience, and a low priority put on physical activity (even in our schools). While treating someone differently because of how they look is not okay, with upwards of 60 percent obesity in certain cities, you can’t say that America is not accepting of fat people. We basically ensure that people will be fat, and are tolerant of the lifestyle choices that surround it. If anything, we need to be cracking down on it more.

 

2. “Body positivity” should include health.

The idea of “body positivity” when used to refer to people who are hundreds of pounds overweight has always confused me. How could you be positive about something when you are, at the same time, actively damaging it? Being positive about the way you look is not enough, you also have to be positive (and proactive) about your health and well-being. And the obvious ill effects of obesity — on organs, joints, energy levels, and mood — go totally against the idea of being positive. There is nothing more negative than treating your body with disregard.

 

3. “Health at every size” seems physically impossible.

A big part of the Fat Acceptance Movement seems to be the idea of Health At Every Size, which advocates for a focus on healthy living, and not on body image. And in theory, this works, but its application is totally inconsistent. We acknowledge that someone who is anorexic is clearly not healthy at their size, and needs medical intervention, but we perpetuate the idea that a morbidly obese person could pursue an active lifestyle and remain at their size, and that saying otherwise would be “shaming” them. The truth is that weight extremes on either end are not healthy, and using rhetoric to cover up their real danger is not helping anyone. Physically, you cannot be healthy at literally any size, and sparing someone’s feelings on the matter is not going to address their immediate medical concerns.

 

4. People are allowed to not be attracted to certain body types.

Another weird part of the movement seems to be the idea that not being attracted to, or put off by, a large body is in some way shaming or internalized hatred of fat people. I know that there are many people who aren’t attracted to my body type (I don’t have much in the way of curves), but in the same vein, I’m not attracted to lots of other body types. And the focus on getting obese people to be seen as attractive seems misguided, when everyone has a preference, and whether or not someone is attracted to you shouldn’t mean anything to you. If someone wants to say “no fatties” in their online dating profile, isn’t it just their loss?

 

5. Food addiction is a real medical problem.

Just as much as we would hold an intervention on someone who is suffering from a heroin addiction, or drinking themselves to death, should we not give the same attention to someone who is clearly eating themselves into ill health? Obviously there are going to be exceptions, when it’s caused by a medical condition or extenuating circumstances, but the Fat Acceptance Movement seems to rely too much on these outliers and not focus on the very real problem that a huge number of people in our country overeat in a dangerous way. The constant consumption of junk food, fast food, and preservative-filled snacks (especially if it’s soothing an emotional wound) is putting the body in real danger. And a lot of people are consuming these foods on more than a daily basis, which makes sense, as many of these foods are constructed to make us addicted. Should we not address these underlying issues?

 

6. Childhood obesity is something we can’t be accepting of.

Regardless of whether or not a consenting adult wants to participate in the FAM or HAES, we can’t say that it is safe for children. There is a reason people get so upset at seeing obese children, and it’s because it is condemning them to a life of health problems that they are not choosing themselves. Feeding children constant junk food, letting them be sedentary, or giving them sugary sodas instead of water is something that we need to be judging harshly as a society. Choosing to be obese and wanting that acceptance as an adult is one thing, but putting it on a child is another, and some of these movements’ rhetoric edges dangerously into the latter category. Regardless of where you stand politically, seeing a toddler weigh as much as a normal 10-year-old should make us all very angry.



#2 Swar

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 12:38 AM

This movement is just an excuse for fat people to stay the way they are because they're too lazy to change.

#3 Karla

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 12:44 AM

I agree with Swarley that people sometimes use this movement as a way to overeat and/or keep themselves from healthy habits.  It's one thing for people to accept people of all shapes and sizes, but I think it's more important that you keep yourself healthy.



#4 Cyo

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 01:08 AM

This movement is just an excuse for fat people to stay the way they are because they're too lazy to change.

I have a thyroid problem.

  

But then again it makes me really fucking skinny for some reason, lol.



#5 Tailwind

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 01:39 AM

I have a thyroid problem.

  

But then again it makes me really fucking skinny for some reason, lol.

 

There are two types. Hypothyroidism makes your thyroid under active and thus might cause you to gain weight, while Hyperthyroidism does the opposite. As with all hormone related issues though, results vary.



#6 tom12

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 02:19 AM

I agree, Child hood obesity is something we CAN NEVER accept! 



#7 Cyo

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 02:40 AM

There are two types. Hypothyroidism makes your thyroid under active and thus might cause you to gain weight, while Hyperthyroidism does the opposite. As with all hormone related issues though, results vary.

Yeah I got it checked out and at the levels my thyroid works at I basically get the benefit of having a high metabolism and slight neck fatigue as the only draw back, but then again I don't deepthroat anybody so it's not influencing much in my life.

 

But when it comes to fatsos seeking appreciation or whatever, I feel like this is just whiplash from previously having that whole 'skinny is bonza yarn, mate' stuff with the models and what not. Personally, I don't see a problem bumping uglies with a 'fat' chick as long as I'm attracted to her (e.g. face isn't a walrus and what not) but the same goes the opposite way, I don't mind banging Jack Skellingtonesque chicks as long as I find them attractive. But there is a point even for me where I'm like "shieet, she too fat/skinny", e.g. fat roll on a fat roll which I find disgusting and that can't possibly be healthy or the other extreme where you basically look like a hologram.



#8 Waser Lave

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 03:25 AM

This is a tricky issue because on the one hand you need to avoid discriminating against larger people because they're always going to be around (and pretty much always have) and it's sometimes due to a genuine disability rather than down to poor lifestyle choices but on the other improving things like accessibility could lessen the disincentives to not following a more healthy lifestyle. How you find the best balancing point between not discriminating against and actually accepting obesity I have no idea. The part about portion size is always going to be problematic somewhere like America because they turn it into a freedom issue rather than a public health issue. They argue that people want massive portions so they should be free to order them and that restaurants should be free to provide that service when it would actually be better for everybody if the State stepped in and legislated against it but that just won't happen without a big change in politics and public opinion.



#9 Jess

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 09:30 AM

I realized a few months ago that I have no idea what a 'normal' weight looks like anymore. It became especially apparent when I was in Canada and was like OMG EVERYONE IS SO THIN (when they're actually probably a normal, healthy weight)

#10 Padme

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 09:33 AM

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I think the whole 'must always be politically correct' movement is a serious piss off. 

Part of that is me always consciously never mentioning that one of my friends might look fat or consciously making sure I'm using adjectives that aren't seen in any way as me possibly fat shaming them.

 

That aside, I just want people to be healthy. I don't think it should be acceptable, in society, to disregard ones own health and be gluttonous. However, I understand there are many paths to wherever people are at size wise. 

 

Like with many matters, education imo is key. Too many people I know think that calorie counting is the only way to lose weight and "oh I don't eat that much" but don't understand they're intaking 124% of their daily recommended fat allotment. If people understood what they were really putting into themselves it might change some things. If it was the norm for people to be eating healthy amounts and the average fat person we saw was typically due to health concerns then I would be more of the opinion that we should accept all body types.

 

People who say they're 'big boned' :

 

Spoiler



#11 Jess

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 09:37 AM

Like with many matters, education imo is key. Too many people I know think that calorie counting is the only way to lose weight and "oh I don't eat that much" but don't understand they're intaking 124% of their daily recommended fat allotment.

Fat doesn't make people fat. People saying it does is one of my biggest pet peeves.

#12 MozzarellaSticks

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 10:04 AM

I don't know. I think a lot of people have misconceptions about it. No one is saying that we should find it sexually attractive and okay. They're saying that we shouldn't put people down over their weight. And America does do that. We judge people based on weight a lot. They're either anorexic or obese to most people. And the movement is just trying to make people see that there's more to people than their weight. And they can be relatively healthy and overweight. Obesity is a health issue, but being overweight isn't strictly bad.

 

I think it's more about how images we see are of underweight people, but the average person is much bigger. It's not about telling people how to view obesity or that obesity is okay.

 

Of course, I have seen radicals that claim otherwise,



#13 Frizzle

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 10:04 AM

Well....it can.

#14 Random

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 10:06 AM

Hypothyroidism has a prevalence of 1-2% worldwide. 34.9% of Americans are obese. 

 

Most fat people are fat because they are lazy. 



#15 Waser Lave

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 10:07 AM

Fat doesn't make people fat. People saying it does is one of my biggest pet peeves.

 

Like anything else too much of it doesn't help though, and from what I recall I think fat has more calories by weight than either carbohydrates or protein (though I may be wrong on that)? The fact is that the diets of most people in developed countries have too much of everything (typically except for fruit and vegetables) given how sedentary lifestyles have become. We're consuming more calories than ever while burning fewer calories than ever which is why we're collectively fatter than ever and it results in both increasing healthcare costs and, more importantly, wasting my time getting stuck behind fatties on escalators when they really are designed with the width to accommodate two people. <_<



#16 Random

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 10:08 AM

Like anything else too much of it doesn't help though, and from what I recall I think fat has more calories by weight than either carbohydrates or protein (though I may be wrong on that)? The fact is that the diets of most people in developed countries have too much of everything (typically except for fruit and vegetables) given how sedentary lifestyles have become. We're consuming more calories than ever while burning fewer calories than ever which is why we're collectively fatter than ever and it results in both increasing healthcare costs and, more importantly, wasting my time getting stuck behind fatties on escalators when they really are designed with the width to accommodate two people. <_<

 

You are correct. Fat has 9cal/gram, carbs and protein have 4cal/gram. 



#17 Jess

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 10:11 AM

Like anything else too much of it doesn't help though, and from what I recall I think fat has more calories by weight than either carbohydrates or protein (though I may be wrong on that)? The fact is that the diets of most people in developed countries have too much of everything (typically except for fruit and vegetables) given how sedentary lifestyles have become. We're consuming more calories than ever while burning fewer calories than ever which is why we're collectively fatter than ever and it results in both increasing healthcare costs and, more importantly, wasting my time getting stuck behind fatties on escalators when they really are designed with the width to accommodate two people. <_<

That's true, but that's still calories. As long as you keep your calories under a certain amount, you generally won't get fat regardless of what percentage of your day is fat. It's not /fat/ making people fat, it's calories making people fat.

#18 ortin

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 10:17 AM

That's true, but that's still calories. As long as you keep your calories under a certain amount, you generally won't get fat regardless of what percentage of your day is fat. It's not /fat/ making people fat, it's calories making people fat.

Napi is correct. If you don't use up your calories, then your body will convert them into fat, regardless of if the calories came from fat or carbohydrates or protein.

#19 MozzarellaSticks

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 10:25 AM

Actually, there is a difference that goes farther than calories. Carbs make you fat. They're our bodies main source of energy. It's what we like to store. Fat gives you cholesterol, clogs arteries. Protein helps rebuild muscle. That's why ketogenic and low-carb diets work. You cut off your main source of energy and force your body to use reserves. This is also why those diets require a high protein intake to supplement the lose of carbs. Unfortunately, if you do it too long your body runs out of reserves and goes for protein, taking from your muscles. Which is why people with eating disorders can get muscle atrophy.

 

It's a bit more than calories in/calories out.



#20 Waser Lave

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 10:27 AM

That's true, but that's still calories. As long as you keep your calories under a certain amount, you generally won't get fat regardless of what percentage of your day is fat. It's not /fat/ making people fat, it's calories making people fat.

 

I agree. Eating too much fat does have more of an impact on calorific intake than eating too much protein or carbohydrates of the same weight due to their respective calorie contents though which is probably why it gets (inaccurately) focused on. Most people just need to generally eat less and exercise more.



#21 Jess

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 10:47 AM

Actually, there is a difference that goes farther than calories. Carbs make you fat. They're our bodies main source of energy. It's what we like to store.

Yes.

Fat gives you cholesterol, clogs arteries.

This isn't true, And studies are now suggesting cholesterol lowers the risk of stroke.

Protein helps rebuild muscle. That's why ketogenic and low-carb diets work. You cut off your main source of energy and force your body to use reserves. This is also why those diets require a high protein intake to supplement the lose of carbs.

Actually, high protein intake in a ketogenic and low-carb diet isn't recommended. They're high fat diets, not high protein diets. Too much protein gets converted to glycogen and prevents you from entering ketosis. High protein is only good for people who work out (just like any other diet.) The majority of people don't get enough exercise to justify a high-protein diet, and then it's just unnecessary calories.
 

Unfortunately, if you do it too long your body runs out of reserves and goes for protein, taking from your muscles. Which is why people with eating disorders can get muscle atrophy.

I'm not really sure what you mean by 'reserves'. The last part of this is true, but irrelevant to a keteogenic or low-carb diet.
 

It's a bit more than calories in/calories out.

We were simplifying it.



#22 ortin

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 10:51 AM

Too much protein just gets broken down into urea, which aside from being toxic also makes your pee darker. In addition, a majority of people have enough protein in their diets, because virtually all food has protein.

#23 MozzarellaSticks

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 11:02 AM

Yes.

This isn't true, And studies are now suggesting cholesterol lowers the risk of stroke.

Actually, high protein intake in a ketogenic and low-carb diet isn't recommended. They're high fat diets, not high protein diets. Too much protein gets converted to glycogen and prevents you from entering ketosis. High protein is only good for people who work out (just like any other diet.) The majority of people don't get enough exercise to justify a high-protein diet, and then it's just unnecessary calories.
 

I'm not really sure what you mean by 'reserves'. The last part of this is true, but irrelevant to a keteogenic or low-carb diet.
 

We were simplifying it.

No, no, no. I'm super against low carb diets. They're terrible on your health. I know that first hand. I'm just saying this is the premise behind them. Honestly, if someone is obese they should be getting a diet plan from a health professional. You need one tailored to your needs, and you need to make sure you put off pounds safely. It's more than just getting up and exercising and eating less.



#24 Jess

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 11:07 AM

5. Food addiction is a real medical problem.
Just as much as we would hold an intervention on someone who is suffering from a heroin addiction, or drinking themselves to death, should we not give the same attention to someone who is clearly eating themselves into ill health? Obviously there are going to be exceptions, when it’s caused by a medical condition or extenuating circumstances, but the Fat Acceptance Movement seems to rely too much on these outliers and not focus on the very real problem that a huge number of people in our country overeat in a dangerous way. The constant consumption of junk food, fast food, and preservative-filled snacks (especially if it’s soothing an emotional wound) is putting the body in real danger. And a lot of people are consuming these foods on more than a daily basis, which makes sense, as many of these foods are constructed to make us addicted. Should we not address these underlying issues?

This is something about America that seriously bothers me. Wheat is addictive, due to the gliadin that was altered in the 70s to incease yield. Wheat (merican wheat, anyway) makes you hungrier, it's a side affect of the gliadin alteration. Wheat also has gluteomorphins which make you feel high. It's easy to tell someone to eat less wheat, but how are people supposed to do that when it gets you high and makes you hungry?



#25 Kaddict

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Posted 27 December 2014 - 11:08 AM

Some kids are chunky, that doesn't really bother me. What pisses me off is when both parents are fat, and all of their kids are super fat. When I was working I had a kid who was 8 years old, extremely overweight, and on the brink of diabetes. His parents said "Well, he just drinks a lot of soda" I nearly exploded. Oh, so your 8 year old just drives down to walmart and buys sodas all the time? Where the hell does he get them? And I am sure you guys are drinking them, and telling him it is ok to be morbidly obese. You never tell him that if he doesn't change his diet he will have diabetes by the time he enters 4th grade, and that he can lose limbs, vision and his life due to it... ugh.




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